Pascal’s wager states that a person cannot come to know God by reason alone so it is best that a person lives as if God does exist, because a person would not lose anything if God did not exist. Pascal’s wager says it is safer to bet that God does exist and to live a life like God does exist. He also makes the point that even if one does not have faith they could obtain it by ‘faking it’ or acting like they have faith. Pascal’s argument is not convincing to me for this reason alone. There is several times where his wager does not align with scripture.
With it, faith can make your whole outlook on things positive; but without it, your view will be clouded with negativity. It helps you reach any goal you put your mind to. If you believe that you can achieve something, you will achieve it. On the other hand, if you don’t have faith in yourself, you will never reach those goals. Without it, you would have nothing to look forward to, and life would be an interminable bore.
If modern day teachings on science, philosophy, or even church councils teach something contrary to Scripture, Scripture has ultimate authority. Many people view Scripture and its role differently, but the underline reason why is based on authority. If someone denies the authority of Scripture, he or she is prone to add or take away whatever he or she pleases. This allows them to become the ultimate authority over Scripture, and their interpretations are based more off of personal preference or cultural norms. However, Scripture should have the last word because it is God’s word.
Perseverance in the midst of tribulation is noble, however, it is just as important to address the reasons for the perseverance. Santiago, though a strong moral character and hero in the story, did not have a relationship with God. He said he was not a religious man. He saw God only as someone to go to for help, not someone to love and worship. He trusted in and depended on himself.
I have always just accepted that whatever God commands is the morally right action and have never really thought about the arguments against it. After realizing that there are so many arguments against it, this has led me to disagree with the Divine Command Theory. Because there are a vast variety of religions in this world, there are multiple different God or gods that people believe in. Just because I have a set religion and God that I believe in does not mean that someone else’s view is wrong. Also, how can we know for sure what God’s commands are?
It is a convenient and comforting respond to unfortunate and even devastating ‘fate’. The pain becomes bearable to those who suffer because the idea of all being a part of a bigger plan, it is more than you. However, this concept is built upon an irrational fundamental attitude, “the surrender of self to the ordering power of society,” (54) a problem that Berger expressed his concerns with. Another problem would be that the use of God as a shield works on believers, but not on nonbelievers. The question “why bad things happening to good people” still cannot be answered for the nonbelievers, a common critique of religion itself.
But for an individual to adopt a practical moral objective, it has to be something more coherent. There is a lot to like about maximizing long-term happiness. But who should be responsible for whose happiness? One natural answer is that one should be responsible only for those the happiness of whom they can directly experience. It leaves out essentially everyone other than the self.
Although there is no visual proof of a supernatural power such as God, believers are motivated by universal beliefs in things we cannot see. Why would we believe something we can’t prove or see? Also, why do people believe in something that is proven to be wrong? This is because of the willing suspension of disbelief and faith. In general, we don’t know for sure that something as God or any higher power of such has ever lived or existed, but it gives people hope and therefore religious knowledge systems still incorporate and effectively uses suspension of disbelief.
As the article reads, “We need a religion that will show us that although we are only transient beings, and although we will never know a setup that differs in any radical way from the present one, it is nevertheless possible for us to commit ourselves to life so completely that we do experience eternal joy in life and can say that it has all been worthwhile.” (page 41) This means that we can use the common teaching of many religions that focus on treating others with kindness and respect to make the world a better place for those that are currently living in it, as well as for those that will live in it for years to come. If we accept that death will come, we would likely have a different outlook on how we live our
But even beyond this opposition between religion and secularism, religion remains a problem of intercultural communication. When religious belief combines with universally accepted truth, it negates all other belief systems as untrue and invalidates other religious views to be valid. Perhaps the best solution is to overcome the specific forms of static religious doctrine in favour of a universally accepted common morality or system of ethics and values. But religion cannot be reduced to or even dissolved into that morality. Rather, it remains, alongside its own logic, within the domain of specific cultural and religious orientation